The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has accused officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) of killing three of its members during a procession in Kaduna State on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.
The group was branded a terrorist organisation and had its activities proscribed by the Federal Government in July.
This was after a series of high profile clashes between members of the group and security agencies over the nearly four-year incarceration of IMN spiritual leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Since the proscription of the group's activities, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has issued several warnings for members to stop public gatherings.
However, the group defied the warning on Tuesday to observe Ashura, an occasion observed annually by Muslims worldwide to mourn the death of Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
Shiites usually march in processions to mark the occasion and dozens of members embarked on processions in Abuja, Kaduna, Gombe, and other states in the country.
IMN spokesperson, Abdullahi Musa, alleged on Tuesday that police officers shot at unarmed Shiites during the procession in the Bakin Ruwa area of Kaduna, killing three.
The spokesperson of the Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, described the allegation as a blatant lie.
He said officers only dispersed some hoodlums staging a protest along Bakin Ruwa.
"We received information this morning that some of them were sighted along Bakin Ruwa and our men went and dispersed them successfully. There was no report of any casualties.
"And that was what they have been looking for; to come out and when police dispersed them, they will be making frivolous claims. It has been their tradition," he told The Punch.
In another statement released by Police spokesperson, DCP Frank Mba, after the processions started on Tuesday, he said other Muslims are free to commemorate Ashura as long as they are not Shiites.
"Muslims marking the commemoration of 'Ashura' throughout the country along with other Muslims across the world are free to carry out the annual 'Ashura' procession.
"They should however do so within the confines of the law and guard against infiltration by unscrupulous elements who may want to take advantage of the event to cause disruption of public peace, order and security," the statement read.
IGP Adamu assured members of the public that the Force is doing everything to ensure there is no breach of the peace, law and order anywhere in the country.